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GSU theater professor appointed regional chair at national festival
Lisa Abbott steps into role as the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 4 chair.
Theater professor Lisa Abbott, inset photo, is shown here directing "Godspell." Abbott says she loves the diversity that teaching at Georgia Southern University gives her, as well as the opportunities to direct such a variety of shows.

Georgia Southern University theater professor Lisa Abbott has stepped into a new role as the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region 4 chair.

As chair of Region 4, Abbott works with a leadership team that puts together the regional KCACTF festival for Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  

The regional festival, held each year in February, provides a forum where students and professionals have the opportunity to take part in auditions, performances, portfolio reviews and workshops.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all in-person KCACTF fall 2020 activities such as peer reviews of productions will be conducted remotely, and the 2021 Region 4 festival will now be held virtually.  

“Things will be different, but we will reemerge with new stories and new ways of sharing the live theater experience,” Abbott said. “We have made a commitment to celebrating innovation in this time. Our students are already leading the way in how to utilize different mediums to tell stories and celebrate their work.”

Abbott coordinates travel logistics for 200-300 regional shows each year, manages organizational finances, coordinates the regional festival and represents the region on the national leadership committee, among other roles. Through innovative storytelling, she looks to uphold the equity, diversity and inclusion standards of KCACTF.

“We are here to support, to listen, to raise up our students, faculty and artists of color,” Abbott said. “We will continue to follow these practices, hopefully with a renewed and greater commitment.”

Abbott has been active with KCACTF for 12 years and served as the vice chair for the past three years. She is now chair until April 2023. She teaches courses such as directing, acting, playwriting, and theater management within the Department of Communication Arts and directs student productions.

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